While Geraldine Hunt's name rarely pops up in conversations, the talented singer, writer, and producer born Geraldine Milligan in St. Louis, MO February 10, 1945, hasn't given up the fight for fame, money, and universal recognition. Hunt's family moved to Chicago when she was two years old, and the precocious youngster decided she wanted to sing a short time later. It was in her blood, her grandmother sung in the South, and her Dad made extra money doing a one-man band hustle. The bug really bit at Hyde Park High school where Minnie Ripperton was one of her classmates. She began recording in the '60s, songs like "I Let Myself Go" got some play on R&B stations but never became hits. Still, the lovely, full-throated singer toured and gigged the R&B spots and did studio work on others' sessions. Then all of sudden, she disappeared from the scene. Unbeknownest to music fans until recently, Hunt and her family moved to Montreal, Canada in 1975. She started her own label, 6 A.M. Records, and scored two small Canadian hits. In 1980 she recorded "Can't Fake the Feeling" on Prism Records, her most successful single. Its success prompted her first album, Can't Fake the Feeling. Prince Quick Mix remade the song on Twisted Records. But she was a zillion miles from the minds of mainstream urban radio, and no longer appeared on billings with groups like the Chi-lites and the O'Jays, except in Canada; many thought she'd retired. Deep into producing, she cut her son Freddie James' 1979 release on Warner Brothers "Get Up and Boogie." But her biggest producing coup came with Cheri, who scored internationally with "Murphy's Law" in 1982. Rosalind Hunt, Geraldine's daughter, was one half of female duo Cheri. The dance club favorite sold two million copies worldwide. Not only did Geraldine produce Cheri, but she wrote the albums' best songs including "Murphy's Law," "Love Stew," "Working Girl," and "Hold Back the Night."
The ride's been rough for Hunt, her 20 single releases over the years have had only marginal success. She's recorded on Calla, Roulette, and other labels before moving to Canada. Hunt took Prism Records, the company she recorded "Can't Fake the Feeling" on, to court for unpaid monies. Though she won the case, she never got paid. She fell into alcoholism, which enhanced her innate volatile personality and got her labeled as difficult; with the help of AA, however, she ceased the destructive addiction. Still, the tag remained, and despite the success of "Murphy's Law," production deals from major companies were not forthcoming. In 1998, she released her first single in a while, "Deep Deep in the Night," which made a little noise in France and Belgium. Hunt has never fully returned to her urban roots and remains unknown to casual music fans; you can find odds-and-ends singles by her on some of the many Northern soul compilations on the market. ~ Andrew Hamilton
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